CHENNAI : Sita was obedient. Lasaki is a rebel. Sita was an abiding wife. Lasaki is ambitious. Sita was a silent thinker. Lasaki is vociferous. In her book Why Ram, author Rakhi Kapoor has created a modern version of the epic character Sita and named her Lasaki. Rakhi has attempted to present Sita’s view of her life influenced by the stories she grew up listening to. The book has not followed a particular version of Ramayana. Its aim is to derive inspiration from Sita who was way ahead of her time.
“I always wanted to write a book inspired by epics. I wanted the story to have a purpose, connect with people and make a difference. Many books about Sita have already been written, and this is my version. I come from a religious family, but I’m more of a spiritual person. The character Lasaki is a reflection of my inhibitions, the obstacles I have faced in life, and the process of personal growth,” says Rakhi, a qualified physiotherapist who also has 11 books to her credit.
The book alternates between what Sita was going through, many generations ago and what Lasaki is going through at present. Sita’s version summarises instances from the Ramayan. Lasaki’s is a self-created atmosphere. The characters are the same. It was Manthara who ruined Sita’s life in the past and it’s Lasaki’s husband’s grandmother in this version who does ruins hers.
“I have deliberately retained Ram as the husband to both the characters. Everyone who has read Ramayana would’ve had questions about Ram’s choices, and his decision-making process echoed a million times in my head. But if you were to have a chat with Ram, he might not have the answers. That’s how men are wired maybe. I have addressed all my questions to Ram at the end of the book. These are not statements, and open to interpretations,” says Rakhi.
Every chapter begins with a set of verses. These are life lessons from Rakhi’s marital life. She is trying to tell modern women that the Sita in each one of us is never helpless. She gives you an impression that she’s being controlled but she takes a lead in situations that demand her leadership. She’s an individual with her ambitions and dreams. She balances her aspirations along with her responsibilities that lie within the four walls of her home.
“In Ramayan, Sita decides to send the children with Ram and refuses to go back to the kingdom. Whereas, Lasaki decides to raise the children with her husband. The takeaway from the book would be that no relationship is perfect. Our epics have characters with a progressive mindset.
The current generation is only influenced by societal norms and middle-men. If we worship Shakti at home then we must learn to respect the manifestation of her in every woman by giving equal respect and opportunities. We must not let our hypocrisy take control of our beliefs. Respect for a woman should begin at home. This is the reason why I chose a revered persona like Sita to set an example,” says Rakhi.
‘Why Ram?’ is available on Amazon at `350